Hearty Ground Covers for Low-Maintenance Gardens in Texas

Do you have any part of your yard or garden that is currently covered with grass, mulch, or gravel that does not benefit your overall landscaping scheme? Instead of all the work that goes into maintenance of these materials, consider a hearty groundcover for your Southeast Texas home. Ground covers are either perennial plants that spread by sending out runners or vines that form attractive mats of vegetation. Either type can cover up some bare ground without much trouble or time involved.

Ground covers also work well in formally overgrown corners of the yard where weeds seem to crop up over and over again. Plant them around the bases of trees, under and around a deck or fence, and as a foreground to shrubs, a hedge, or taller specimen plants. When you fill the space with flourishing plants instead, the weeds will not have a chance to grow. Ground covers may reduce your maintenance needs overall.


English Ivy 

This classic ground cover enjoys shade and moisture. This does not make it the best choice for a SE Texas landscaping scheme unless you have part of your property under a tree or next to a pond that needs some evergreen coverage. It grows very quickly, expands indefinitely you do not stop it, and may climb over fences, walls, and up trees. This rampant growth can sometimes cause the problem, and you will have to trim it back to make sure it stays contained.




Unlike a vine, ajuga has individual plants that spread by sending out runners. The foliage comes in a variety of deep green, variegated with silver, and even purple. All types have short purple flowers at certain times of the year. It stays growing low from about 3 to 5 inches tall and can fill a space relatively quickly.



Ground Junipers

Flat, sprawling evergreen bushes with blue-green needles provide a prickly solution for places that need ground cover without maintenance. As these are shrubs, they do grow more slowly than a vine or multiple smaller plants. You may see them frequently sprawling over a bed of mulch.




This attractive plant with ribbon-like leaves can be grown as an individual betting plant, too. However, it does create taller mounds of foliage with purple spires of flowers throughout the summer. For maximum coverage, you will need multiple plants.



Honeysuckle Vine

This trailing shrub can climb up supports, fences, or trees grows into a lush mat across the ground as well. It is evergreen, has pretty purple, pink, or yellow flowers, and sweet fragrance in the spring and summer.



Vinca or Periwinkles

This plant, which goes by either name, works well in shade or part sun. Different varieties come with green or variegated leaves, although both have showy purple flowers. Because of the fast growth, some homeowners see this plant as rather invasive. It will need cutting back to contain it in its appropriate spot.



Creeping Phlox

This dense, low creeper has tiny evergreen foliage and massive blankets of pink or lavender blooms covering everything in the spring. It grows very quickly and looks especially nice cascading over rocks or the edges of pathways and patios.